Risotto purists will be screaming abuse no doubt at this bastardised version of such a classic Italian dish, but I make no apology for taking it’s name in vain. I am a lover of a classic risotto, but this more nutty version is good too. Less creamy, yes, but I think the nuttiness and robust flavour and texture of spelt grains more than makes up for this. Widely recognised for it’s health benefits, this ancient grain is hardier and more nutritional than it’s more familiar cousin, wheat. If you aren’t so sure, give this delicious version a go.
Beetroot and Spelt Risotto with Camembert
A nutty and wholesome alternative to a more traditional risotto using pearled spelt berries
300g pearled spelt grains
750ml-1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
350g raw beetroot, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, plus a few leaves to garnish
125g Camembert, sliced
25g grated Parmesan
55g pecan nuts
1 red whitlof, shredded
salt and pepper
Soak the spelt grains in boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain and shake dry.
Place the stock in a saucepan and heat gently until it just starts to simmer.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion, garlic, thyme and some salt and pepper for 5 minutes until softened. Add the beetroot and fry for a further 5 minutes.
Add the spelt and stir-fry for 1 minute until all the grains are glossy. Add the wine and simmer until reduced, about 3 minutes.
Then add half the stock and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the remaining stock and cook, stirring until the spelt is tender and most of the stock absorbed, about 10 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in half the Camembert and all the Parmesan, cover pan and leave to sit for 5 minutes.
Heat a small frying pan and fry the pecans for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned.
Spoon the risotto onto plates and serve topped with the remaining cheese, pecans, the shredded whitlof and a few thyme leaves.
Beef with salt roasted celeriac and walnut Gorgonzola pesto
1 large celeriac, trimmed (about 1kg)
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1kg piece beef filet
100g walnut pieces
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
2 tbs green olives
2 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
55g gorgonzola cheese
2 cups Autumn salad leaves, such as radicchio, red oak leaf, red chicory
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 200c/180c fan-forced and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Make the pesto. Place the walnuts, parsley, olives, anchovies and some pepper in a food processor and blend until smooth. Blend in the oil, half the balsamic vinegar and then stir in the gorgonzola. Season to taste and set aside.
Peel the celeriac and cut in half, then cut each half into 1 cm thick slices. Combine the oil and salt and rub all over the celeriac pieces. Arrange on the prepared tray and roast for 30 minutes until charred and softened.
Meanwhile, season the beef fillet. Heat an oven-proof frying pan over a high heat and when hot add the beef. Sear for 5 minutes until browned all over. Transfer to the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes.
Cut the beef into 6 thick steaks and arrange on a second baking tray. Spoon the pesto onto each steak and return to the oven for 5 minutes until the beef is cooked perfectly and the pesto golden.
Divide the celeriac between plates and top with the beef steaks. Spoon over any pan juices and serve with some mixed salad leaves.
© photo Ian Wallace
© recipe Louise Pickford
First published by Taste.com.au
So looking forward to a whole new year of exciting cooking classes at Come Cook In France. As well as some of my regular classes, this year I am adding some full day and residential courses, hosted by the wonderful Les Soeurs Anglaises in The Dordogne.
The Cook Club courses are held in my kitchen at home and run from 9.30am to 2.30 pm. We cook up until about 1 pm when we sit down and enjoy the fruits of our morning’s labours. I run approximately 2 Cook Clubs per month.
23rd February – Japanese Cooking
The first course of the year is a fascinating look into some of my favourite Japanese dishes. I will be explaining some of the more unusual ingredients. I will demonstrate prepare and cook gyozas. Then together we will make Udon noodle soup with salmon and a tataki of beef.
6th March – Pasta Making
This is always a hugely popular course and this year we will be stuffing lasagne sheets to make cannelloni, hand-cutting pappardelle and using a pasta machine to make different flavoured linguine. You can then make one of 3 different sauces to serve with your own home made pasta.
23rd March – Fish Cookery
So many people seem a little fearful of cooking fish, yet are huge fans of eating it. This course is perfect as we look at some of our favourite whole fish and get to grips with scaling, filleting and cooking several completely different varieties.
4th April – French Classics Revisited
This is one of my favourite courses as I like to take some of the classic French dishes such as duck confit or tart tatin and give them my own twist. So duck confit could be spiced with star anise and hoisin sauce before roasting, whilst fresh mango makes a quite delicious tart tatin, especially with home-made palm sugar ice cream.
17th April – Thai and Vietnamese Cooking
As a huge fan of South East Asian cookery I love introducing people to the amazing flavours and unusual ingredients of this fascinating cuisine. We chop, slice, crush, pound and fry some of the most yummy dishes you can imagine.
18th May – Pizza Workshop
The first day course of the year is such an exciting one. Hosted by Les Soeurs Anglaises we will have access to a pizza oven in order to cook up some truly awesome pizzas. After an introduction of how to get your pizza oven started up, we will make pizza dough, allowing time for it to rise. In the meantime we will crack on with all the yummy toppings, finishing the afternoon off our wood smoked pizzas, fresh from the oven.
13th-17th June – Cookery Workshop –
I am super excited about my first residential cookery course at Les Soeurs Anglaises. After a meet and greet welcoming dinner we will spend 3 days preparing, cooking, eating, dining, relaxing and sharing foodie stories in the beautiful surroundings of our accommodation. Using locally produced and sourced ingredients we will cook French inspired dishes with a nod to modernity.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to my contacts page for more details.
I am really excited to announce a 3 day / 4 night cookery workshop next June, to be held in one of the most beautiful locations in the region. I have recently begun collaborating with Katie and Mike Armitage of Les Soeurs Anglaises in the Dordogne, where together we host pop up dinners and have formed a private dining club we call La Tablée (the sharing table) for local residents.
Katie has been hosting creative workshops at L’Espace, a superb barn conversion turned workshop venue, so it is the ideal place for me to run my first residential course.
The long weekend will kick off with an evening meal, prepared and cooked by me, welcoming you all to the course. On the first morning you can accompany me to the largest weekly market in the region to discover the season’s best local produce. If you like, this could include a pastry and coffee at the market rather than breakfast at the accommodation.
Light lunches will be provided each day.
After breakfast, on mornings two and three you are free to relax and spoil yourself in the beautiful surroundings, by one of the two pools, or take a walk through the stunning countryside. Extra cookery classes can also be arranged as can visits to local producers or food stores.
All three afternoons will be spent with hands on cooking, where we will prepare our evening meal. I will demonstrate some of the more complex dishes teaching you how to prepare meat, fish, seafood and vegetables. It will be all hands on deck, slicing, chopping, searing and roasting.
Each evening we will sit down to share the wonderful meal prepared together, accompanied of course with complimentary wines.
The workshop includes
- 4 nights accommodation
- 3 days of L’Espace workshop with me
- All breakfasts, lunches, dinners (served with wine) and refreshments
- Snacks and beverages throughout your stay
- A morning visit to local market
- Pick-up and drop-off at arrival airport Bergerac / train station Angouleme (at allocated times)*
- *Air and train fares to and from collection points in France are not included.
Pricing for this 3 night/4 day workshop varies depending on your choice of accommodation. Please see prices below or click here to see our accommodation photo gallery.
A: Single occupancy of Superior double bedroom with en suite: 930€ per person
B: Single occupancy of Twin bedroom shared bathroom 750€ per person
C: Shared Twin bedrrom / shared bathroom: 620€ per person
In order to secure your place on this course we require a 170€ non-refundable deposit to secure a booking, the full balance being payable two months prior to the start of the workshop.
Limited to 10 places
For further information or to book your place on this exciting weekend of cooking, please visit http://www.lessoeursanglaises.com/food-styling-photography